Back in 2009 when the majority of Tokyo Blade's classic lineup decided to reform and record a new album there was one big problem - who would pay for it?
Having been forced to complete their early albums' studio sessions in 3 or 4 days with makeshift engineers, they were determined that this time around not a single corner would be cut and no expense spared on the recording process.
In an age where D.I.Y. albums are the norm, production duties were handed to none other than legendary Grammy-nominated producer Chris Tsangarides (Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy). The band setup camp at his Kent recording complex and didn't leave until the definitive Tokyo Blade album, Thousand Men Strong was in the can
So how did they meet the expenses? Well the majority was put in by the band themselves of course but the balance was made up by appealing to the legion of fanatically loyal Tokyo Blade supporters who had been hounding the band for years to get back into the studio and rediscover their trademark sound. They pre-ordered and pre-paid for their copies of the unrecorded and untitled album via an ingenious scheme which guaranteed them an early copy of the album when completed, signed goodies, an official T-Shirt and their name on the 'role of honour'. Here's what some of those loyal fans think of their investment now:
"What can I possibly say? 'Awesome' doesn't go far enough. As I expected the guitar playing is superb and the rhythm section still as tight as ever, but the songwriting is in a different league. This harks back to your greatest work 'Night of the Blade', but even better. The new singer is a great choice too. I just know I'm going to play the new CD until it wears out it's just amazing." - Ron, UK.
"Sounds f*****g awesome...you and John still play a mean guitar for sure! New guy is great, excellent voice and the boys at the back are even more powerful than before. I'm speechless." - MC, Australia.
"It's f*****g awesome man wow Tokyo Blade are my fave NWOBHM band for sure. Your guitar playing and John's f*****g rocks dude. The vocals kick ass and the power and energy of the song just kills ya. Please, please come to Sweden soon." - Ben, Sweden.
The 2011 Tokyo Blade line-up includes four of the five original members, Andy Boulton (guitar), Andy Wrighton (bass), John Wiggins (guitar) and Steve Pierce (drums) and is completed by powerhouse vocalist Nicolaj Ruhnow.
Thousand Men Strong is released worldwide on March 18th 2011.